Find a good and inexpensive upholstery guy. If you can get new pillows, drapes and cushions on occasion you can redo the whole house on the cheap and make it look like you have all new items. Buy neutral base pieces, but buy nice one’s that will last for many years. For instance I bought a beige sofa and I just change out the pillows and rugs to conjure up a different look on occasion. I spent a small fortune on Thomasville Bedroom Furniture, but it will be around a long time. Learn to sew. You can hem drapes, make custom drapes and make your own pillows leaving the larger stuff to the upholstery company above.
Create a poster board for each room. Get poster board from the dollar store and place your paint colors, fabric swatches, cut outs of your furniture etc. Really understand how all of the items work together. Be careful not to create a “clown house” what this means is you can do a lot with paint but don’t paint every room a contrasting color. Make sure that the colors work together and have some degree of consistency. Once you create your boards for your planned rooms get some advice and opinions from your friends, family, and possibly even professional decorators as to their opinion about the proposed plan. If you buy furniture from certain stores like Ethan Allen, Thomasville, and Bassett you can often get their in house licensed decorator to assist you in pulling together the room. Buy vases and collections of accessories in groups of three’s. Read lots of books and magazines, watch HGTV and figure out what you truly love in the way of styles.
Here are some styles that I really like and have developed an affinity for over time: Andalusian Design, Moroccan, Spanish Colonial, Rustic Traditional, and Eclectic. I really can’t stand or should I say I dislike mid-century modern. This is a very popular and emerging style in today’s decorating world but it is just not for me. As long as you know this you can convey it to the people helping you with your plan. I use to love the traditional Asian style of Chinese Chippendale but now I have a rule that all furniture in my house should be comfy, functional and you should be able to prop your feet up on it. That’s why I’m loving my new wooden dinnerware I recently bought.
So no more fu-dogs or Chinese Chippendale for my house. If you live in Atlanta consider buying furniture pieces at “The Dump” a large overstock center only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can save thousands of dollars vs. buying at traditional furniture stores. Visit Miami Circle, the hub of the decorating world in Atlanta. Most important understand your own likes and dislikes and plan to make your house your personal paradise.